BSG building: it still needs fixing?

Tim White

It’s comical to see the safety cones roping off the water damage on the lower level of the BGS building just a year after the debut of its $8 million renovations.  Apparently some groundwater has been coming through the slab, which can be rectified by the application of some kind of sealant. 


It’s my understanding that a major reason for the renovations was to correct an ominous mold problem.  When someone is dealing a moldy building, wouldn’t it make sense to explore any sources of unwanted moisture? 


That’s all hindsight now but on the grand scheme of things, this illustrates an unfortunate trend in American Culture.


In June, my dad’s car went in for a smog check.  Four months later, after firing one mechanic, the bill is close to four times the original estimate.  I called up there this morning to check on the progress, and the new mechanic informed me that he had gone ahead and ordered an additional $300 worth of parts, without getting our approval. He also said that he wasn’t sure if that was going to fix it.  I was so flabbergasted that I dropped my joint.


Sure the money factor is part of it, but my big beef with both of these situations is the overall carelessness in customer service these days.  Once upon a time, when someone quoted a job, it was expected that the quote would cover the whole job.


At the end of the day, an extra coat of concrete sealant or a few more parts tacked onto the end of an already astronomical repair bill doesn’t really amount to much.  What does amount is the fact that the end consumer has to continuously revisit a problem after assuming that said problem had been solved.


It’s hard to say where this behavior is manifested. I’m inclined to think that service providers have become either too lazy or too incompetent to analyze a problem fully, and instead resort to just chasing a bunch of symptoms, hoping that things will eventually take care of themselves.


The bottom line is that when someone gets hired to complete a project, the public-at-large should be able to expect that the whole thing is going to get done.  A lofty estimate is easy to swallow, if there’s the knowledge that the problem is going to be fixed on the first shot.  Otherwise, we just feel like we’re being ripped off.

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